Originally Posted by filiadeluna
Seems to me that you don't *have* to have one, but surely there will be some occasions when you are doing something that would require you to set the baby down, i.e. vacuuming probably wouldn't be very easy as vacuums are heavy anyway & you probably wouldn't want baby breathing in all the dust. Another example could be if you're sick and you don't want to cough/sneeze/etc on the baby. Also, I can't imagine trying to stoop down to put in/take out dishes from the dishwasher with a baby on you. I'd be afraid of hurting my back, or bumping the baby's head on something, or dropping the dishes. So, while it may not be needed per se, it's probably helpful to have just in case. I would be careful about what you buy though, it seems sooo many playpens are recalled.
Just my thoughts, but I'm sure people who are already moms will have better advice for you.
I just had to giggle when I read this because I wore my DD doing all of this.
Vacuuming while wearing was a great way to calm her down and wearing her while doing the dishes was the only way to get them done. I didn't bend over, I squatted instead.
I never worried about coughing or sneezing on her because I breastfed her, but I suppose that might be a worry if you were to formula feed.
I never used a playpen. I would have liked to at times, but if my DD wanted down, she wanted down to explore, not to be confined in a playpen. Even with two other kids running around it wasn't at all useful in my case.